2010 XTERRA National Champ John Klish of Eagle, Colorado, was recently named the USA Deaf Sports Federation Sportsman-of-the-Year for 2014.
Klish was an inspiring force in XTERRA and the sports’ first deaf athlete to race as an elite, before turning his focus to competing with the USA Deaf Cycling team.
Herewith a release on John’s selection:
John Klish had built his reputation with endurance events such as XTERRA triathlons where he won the National Championship for his age group, showshoeing, randonee skiing, and mountain bike and cyclocross races. While doing all of this, Klish also built his own company for Deaf athletes, Deaflete, and is currently promoting cycling events locally in Colorado.
In the world of Deaf sports, Klish made quite the entrance at the Tour of Formosa (Taiwan) placing 6th while supporting our own Nicholas Schreiber to second place at the same stage race. John followed that up with an impressive Deaflympics debut in Sofia winning the gold in Points Race by a wide margin after surprising the field with a long-range attack and holding it all the way to the end. Paul recalls his first impression upon meeting John at Sofia:
“Before I met him in person first time at Deaflympics at Sofia, Bulgaria, I heard about him racing the endurance events and mountain bike events but not road events. My first impression with him was his preparation, nutrition, supplements and strange exercising tools. He blew my mind out when he lapped a strong field in the Deaflympics point race!!”
However, it is at the most recent 2014 Tour of Formosa where Klish’s racing acumen came to the forefront. Against possibly one of the strongest Deaf cycling field in recent history that was also combined with local hearing cyclists, John placed second. During the weeklong tactical race with each move being matched and countered, he was able to rely on his own patience and maximize his teammates to help him secure second place. Not only is he an excellent tactician on the bike (in all disciplines), he is also the Vice-President of US Deaf Cycling Association.